Mimvi is a search and discovery or recommendation engine for all mobile apps. Some have described it as a "Google" for mobile app search. However, I would disagree and say there is a larger opportunity for a company like Mimvi which could include not only sponsored app results [similar to Google's AdWords] but also revenue sharing based on in-app payments by offering exposure for mobile app developers and owners on its search and recommendation properties. They also seem to be working on an intriguing system like Google's AdSense, called MimviLink, where they match mobile apps to content. This is truly an innovative approach to revenue on the mobile Internet. The Mimvi platform is simple and works on most devices due to the availability of their web app. Google's financial controller recently joined Mimvi and likely to focus on revenue and partnerships. Interestingly, one of Mimvi's primary competitor was Chomp, acquired by Apple. Mimvi has a real chance at being an agnostic central location or gateway for consumers to search and discover mobile apps. Their approach truly can propel them into the go-to place for mobile apps just as Google was propelled into a similar position related to helping people find web sites and no matter what kind of web site it was.
Facebook, after their hood was lifted days before it's IPO debacle, is certainly desperate to attain a footing in the mobile app area. Facebook sends over 160 million people to mobile apps each month. Because of these points, they are releasing the App Center, a central area where users can search for and explore mobile apps. Just as with Mimvi, Facebook shows the user the install page in the Apple App Store or Google Play. One of the concerns for consumers using Facebook's App Center is that they will not being able to search for long-tail mobile apps or apps that aren't connected to Facebook in some way. This is something that would have killed Google if they took this approach with web sites. Another concern for Facebook in this area is that they have no traction in generating revenue in this area. Perhaps Facebook will execute on a model similar to Apple. If so, that could be significant. Facebook still remains a contender in being the gateway for mobile users and their app experiences. Mobile app developers stand to benefit by gaining access to the Facebook user base.
Google recently decided to create an all-you-can eat area where users can search for and explore apps in one central place called Google Play although it's having difficulty expanding in China's $35 billion dollar mobile app market. A key question in what Google intends to offer relates to whether or not Google will put any significant effort into helping find iPhone and iPad apps as those apps drive the sales of competing smartphone platforms.